Women make the world go ‘round, this is not a secret. We have been built with super powers that change the world on a daily basis. Being the powerhouses that we are takes a certain type of focus and commitment. When we gather together and share ideas, movements are actualized. This is why navigating female relationships is so significant. There are many sides to a woman, and we have a reputation for being colorful and elaborate. Existing amongst one another in our uniqueness can be quite the task. Today, we will unpack complex female friendships and healthy ways to explore them.
Why are female friendships so complex?
Growing up, we’re often told the importance of being friends with other girls while simultaneously understanding that women are our “competition”. There is an underlying conversation about sisterhood but that other women will eventually become mean, underhanded and cruel in the long run. It’s a narrative that’s hard to dismantle as we grow up, puberty hits and we start to navigate young adulthood.
There is not enough literature easily available on how to enjoy friendship, spotting red flags in your companionship and how to mend broken platonic relationships. Add in the patriarchy and the narratives we are fed from a young age and it’s no wonder that a lot of friendships struggle.
Start to dismantle your jealousy
A common issue amongst women seems to be feelings of jealousy. As a woman, there is so much pressure upon us to be independent, to be great mothers, to be beautiful, and confident. Being surrounded by powerful women can be intimidating, because it always feels like there’s a deadline on our growth. Feeling uneasy when you see someone accomplishing their goals and having a successful stride is human, but needs to be controlled. Turning that mild envy into motivation is one of the most transformational kinds of self love. If you feel yourself “hating” on someone because of their winning streak, the best thing to do is compliment them. Uplifting women should be a daily practice, but it is even more important to acknowledge those who you are inspired by.
Allowing yourself to extend gratitude to someone who is reminding you to go harder will feed your soul with appreciation. The more you begin to appreciate others, the sooner you can appreciate yourself. If we all uplift each other, even in our times of personal uncertainty – this will create a foundation for women as a community. That bitterness you feel when you see other women is only an indication that you are not yet secure with your own endeavors. Check in with yourself and see what can be done to heighten your sense of self certainty.
Release that competitive nature
In our relentless pursuit to be a “she-miracle” we can sometimes get caught up in competing with other women. Again, the pressure puts us in a self centered headspace when it comes to opportunities. Truthfully, there’s enough abundance for us all and we can get it faster together. Letting go of competitive girlfriends has always been easy for me [Alyx] because I need my friends to be on the same team as me. Girl groups thrive when energies are collectively and evenly yoked. Competing with friends isn’t love, it is toxic.
If you are on the receiving end of a competitive relationship, try not to take it too personally. This just means that your friend is inspired by you! We each deserve a supportive circle and should look for that in others. Distance yourself from those who are running in an imaginary race against you. Friendships are just like romantic relationships in a way that you should be selective about who you allow into your life. You can have expectations of your friends, as well as boundaries. Friends should pour into you as much as you pour into them.
How do we mend our friendships?
In a world where we see women and their friendships celebrated in pop culture and social media (‘That’s my best friend, she’s a real bad b*’) we often don’t know what to do when losing one. We’re all living in the midst of a pandemic that has offered us perspective about our lives, our choices and mistakes. I [Alyx] have written about the pain of losing a friendship and while it’s true that some relationships need to stay out of your life, there is space for friendships that just need space. In the past year, I’ve reconnected with a few people who I drifted apart from due to life and our circumstances colliding. At times, it’s about putting aside your pride, apologizing for your actions, and being vulnerable. Chances are it will be received well. If not? You know where you stand. Community is important for our wellbeing. No matter the time period we’re in. Ultimately, I wish we knew that our friendships might begin to ebb and flow. You will find each other, when you need to, once more.
Leading Image by PansyCo
Editor’s Note: This is a piece written in collaboration with two members of The Flock. The independent work of Alyx Carolus and Chloe’ Flowers never fails to spark insightful conversation. This piece is evermore the evidence of their skilled voice and pulse on culture. You can keep up with the two of them on social media @heyalyx_ and @discochlo.
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